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Old 10-15-2019, 10:54 AM   #1
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Transmission swap cost? (545 - 2000)

Hey Everyone,

I have developed an itch for a short bus.

What I am contemplating a 5-6 window International with a 5.9 and a good transmission. I have looked about and all of the 5.9 equipped shorties I have looked at have 545's.

Is there anyone here on the board that would be interested in taking on a project like this?

Any thoughts on labor cost?

Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:01 AM   #2
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If you happen to know of a nice shorty that would be a good candidate please let me know.

Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Hey Everyone,

I have developed an itch for a short bus.

What I am contemplating a 5-6 window International with a 5.9 and a good transmission. I have looked about and all of the 5.9 equipped shorties I have looked at have 545's.

Is there anyone here on the board that would be interested in taking on a project like this?

Any thoughts on labor cost?

Thanks.
Why not just go with a MD3060? They are 6speeds that don't need any hardware to be a 6 speed, some came with built in retarders (mine has one). If you were closer I'd take a gander at helping you but your on the other end of the country from me.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:30 AM   #4
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Why not just go with a MD3060? They are 6speeds that don't need any hardware to be a 6 speed, some came with built in retarders (mine has one). If you were closer I'd take a gander at helping you but your on the other end of the country from me.
I had not considered the MD-3060.

There are a couple up in Spokane for $850 with a 6 month warranty. The one I. Looked at was from an international bus with a DT-466..
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:49 AM   #5
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Why not just go with a MD3060? They are 6speeds that don't need any hardware to be a 6 speed, some came with built in retarders (mine has one). If you were closer I'd take a gander at helping you but your on the other end of the country from me.
Perhaps this is all information that you already know.. perhaps I am misinformed. But,To my understanding, the 3060 is an electronic controlled transmition that would require a transmission control module (tcm) that will interface with your engine electronics. Not necessarily a straight forward task. Most of them3060's also only come in a 5 speed configuration unless permission is acquired from the oem. I don't have one personally, this is just what I read. I think a more popular and straight forward swap would be to an Allison 643. You don't need overdrive for mpg's or top speed if you gear your rear end accordingly. There are also many aftermarket exhaust brakes built for the Cummins 5.9. manual transmissions are another great way to go.2
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:54 AM   #6
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YOu need a tps for the 3060 but it will work.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #7
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Perhaps this is all information that you already know.. perhaps I am misinformed. But,To my understanding, the 3060 is an electronic controlled transmition that would require a transmission control module (tcm) that will interface with your engine electronics. Not necessarily a straight forward task. Most of them3060's also only come in a 5 speed configuration unless permission is acquired from the oem. I don't have one personally, this is just what I read. I think a more popular and straight forward swap would be to an Allison 643. You don't need overdrive for mpg's or top speed if you gear your rear end accordingly. There are also many aftermarket exhaust brakes built for the Cummins 5.9. manual transmissions are another great way to go.2
In a 5.9 shorty I would be ok without 6th gear. That is what I have in my A3RE and it is ok. Having 6th would be nice and there has been some progress by 3rd parties in opening up 6th.

As I best understand it, the 3060 will work with a mechanical engine with the addition of a GPS.

That does raise a good point. It occurred to me that the 545 is not computer controlled. If I did go with an electronic engine, how involved is connecting the 3060 TCM to the existing electronics?
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:25 PM   #8
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Perhaps this is all information that you already know.. perhaps I am misinformed. But,To my understanding, the 3060 is an electronic controlled transmition that would require a transmission control module (tcm) that will interface with your engine electronics. Not necessarily a straight forward task. Most of them3060's also only come in a 5 speed configuration unless permission is acquired from the oem. I don't have one personally, this is just what I read. I think a more popular and straight forward swap would be to an Allison 643. You don't need overdrive for mpg's or top speed if you gear your rear end accordingly. There are also many aftermarket exhaust brakes built for the Cummins 5.9. manual transmissions are another great way to go.2
True what you said, you can find TCMs that 6th is unlocked and there are 3rd parties that will also unlock them without all the begging nonsense which is the route I'm taking to unlock mine before I go back out on the road.
I couldn't help but mention it because with that setup you prob won't see a mechanical failure, they are built for work and you and turn up the fuel on your 5.9 and it will still handle the power better than the 2000 will.
I should have mentioned the 643, the b300 I hear is a solid unit as well, though either I've never had any experience with, but any of these mentioned will do better than the 545s, when I went bus shopping I made sure to find something that didn't have the 545, I took trans and body/chassis over engine. I like my 7.3 but I'd much rather had a 8.3 Cummapart hehe. Though it probably wouldn't like what I use for fuel.
For the TCM and push button control for the 3060 you would do better to find a scrap yard to grab that stuff from. I found one nearish me that sells that stuff cheap and when money is allowing I'm getting a spare TCM and console as it seems thats the only real failure those trans see as long as you change fluid filters and don't get them real hot.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:31 PM   #9
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Missed the manual transmission thought.

If I could find a bus that already had a manual transmission that would be awesome! Converting from automatic to manual looks like a bigger project than I want to take on.

I could get excited about a shorty with 7 speed synchro tranny. I forget whether it's Spicer or Fuller makes one that I have seen in a few buses.

If I got into something like that I may even consider selling my truck. That would make my Wife happy. I don't know why she doesn't like my truck?
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickBaptist View Post
Why not just go with a MD3060? They are 6speeds that don't need any hardware to be a 6 speed, some came with built in retarders (mine has one). If you were closer I'd take a gander at helping you but your on the other end of the country from me.
99% of them don't have 6th unlocked and Allison is less than helpful in getting them unlocked. Lots of experience here with the issue.
Any contact info for where you're getting yours done without hassle?
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:40 PM   #11
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99% of them don't have 6th unlocked and Allison is less than helpful in getting them unlocked. Lots of experience here with the issue.
Any contact info for where you're getting yours done without hassle?
Somebody posted, in the "Unlocking 6th" thread, a link to an outfit that is doing it. Also, Christopher has had some success copying the CIN from a bus with 6th unlocked to one that has 6th locked out.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:47 PM   #12
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True what you said, you can find TCMs that 6th is unlocked and there are 3rd parties that will also unlock them without all the begging nonsense which is the route I'm taking to unlock mine before I go back out on the road.
I couldn't help but mention it because with that setup you prob won't see a mechanical failure, they are built for work and you and turn up the fuel on your 5.9 and it will still handle the power better than the 2000 will.
I should have mentioned the 643, the b300 I hear is a solid unit as well, though either I've never had any experience with, but any of these mentioned will do better than the 545s, when I went bus shopping I made sure to find something that didn't have the 545, I took trans and body/chassis over engine. I like my 7.3 but I'd much rather had a 8.3 Cummapart hehe. Though it probably wouldn't like what I use for fuel.
For the TCM and push button control for the 3060 you would do better to find a scrap yard to grab that stuff from. I found one nearish me that sells that stuff cheap and when money is allowing I'm getting a spare TCM and console as it seems thats the only real failure those trans see as long as you change fluid filters and don't get them real hot.
Thanks for the input.

I expect that the lifespan of a 3060 in a shorty with a mild 5.9 could be impressive.

Sorry you missed out on the 8.3. I love mine. I bet I bid on 20 plus buses over 18 months before I was the winning bidder.

Could you share the details of the place with cheap Allison parts? If they ship, I may have to snag a spare TCM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #13
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on a shorty go with a 24 valve 5.9 which will have a J1939 link and go with a 1000 that has 6 speeds and a 4th gen TCM which will have 6 speeds enabled..



steve - im assuming you read my thread 'the redbyrd transformation' where i detailed down to the nut and bolt my AT545 to Allison 1000 swap.. I went a bit pricier route so i could get a brand new performance transmission built for me.. but thats probably overkill..



-Christopher
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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on a shorty go with a 24 valve 5.9 which will have a J1939 link and go with a 1000 that has 6 speeds and a 4th gen TCM which will have 6 speeds enabled..



steve - im assuming you read my thread 'the redbyrd transformation' where i detailed down to the nut and bolt my AT545 to Allison 1000 swap.. I went a bit pricier route so i could get a brand new performance transmission built for me.. but thats probably overkill..



-Christopher

Christopher,

I did read your thread detailing the swap. You went a little more 'top shelf' than I am looking at a used transmission and flex plate etc. But, I am looking at having someone to do the swap so it may be a wash in the end.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:45 AM   #15
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MD-3060's are normally 6th gear unlocked on AmTram/International buses. Thomas Buses are normally restricted to 5 gears.
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:42 AM   #16
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MD-3060's are normally 6th gear unlocked on AmTram/International buses. Thomas Buses are normally restricted to 5 gears.
I've got an IC/Amtrans bus, MD 3060, guess what, 6th gear is locked out....
Bought it at a yard that had 70ish of these buses, all that did have the 3060 well all limited to just 5th gear. They had more than 1 districts buses for sale.....
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:04 AM   #17
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I am curious on the spec of those IC/Amtram buses... Conventional, RE, FE... MD3060 or the World transmission? Rear End ratio? The Amtram RE's I've seen with the 6th gear unlocked would normally bump against the governor at 65mph. That was also my experience as I searched for the bus I bought. The rest of the conventional buses in my area from that period are all manual transmissions. When I drove school bus they were transitioning to automatic's as it's becoming harder to find folks to drive the manuals.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:13 AM   #18
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from what I have figured out... busses bought by companies running them as transits or trip busses.. (seemingly without school lights) seem to have a much higher chance of having all 6 gears.. whether they be bluebird, thomas, or IC.. not sure if its an internal policy from those companies or from allison to not do it for busses that weill be on school routes or some other power at work...

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Old 10-24-2019, 09:05 AM   #19
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Hey Steve, posted about some TC2000s with ISB and A2000 trans the other day. Are your welding skills up to the task of making them short? Evidently that combination wasn't uncommon after Y2K or so, which was news to me and will forever change the way I look at auctions. Embrace the TC, join the collective!
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:27 AM   #20
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TC is alright, but haven't you realized the AA is where its at?
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